maxon Story

Mechatronics and the treatment of diabetes.

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Among its areas of expertise, maxon France designs, develops, and manufactures high-performance mechatronic solutions for medical devices (MD). Its custom motorized solutions draw on the latest medical innovations, to offer patients safety, comfort, and independence in the monitoring and treatment of their disease. The goal is always to improve their quality of life. Diabetes treatment is one of the MD sectors that has become increasingly important in recent years, particularly in terms of patient numbers. In light of this, how can mechatronics help to make patients’ lives easier? Read on to find out.


Diabetes at the heart of a rapidly growing medical market

With chronic illnesses increasing considerably, awareness is growing of the urgent need to offer high-performance medical devices that foster the patients’ treatment adherence, independence, and quality of life, while guaranteeing them absolute safety.

Treatment of diabetes: medical devices designed to make patients’ lives easier and safer

Improving the overall quality of life of diabetic patients is a major goal of medical devices for the treatment of diabetes, which affected 3.7 million people in France in 2018 (and 422 million people with diabetes around the world).

To reach this goal, technological innovations must pursue three main lines of development:

  • Bolstering patient independence
  • Facilitating treatment adherence
  • Ensuring the effectiveness of the MD and safety of the patients

To comply with these, medical devices are designed and developed in accordance with rigorous requirements:

  • Compact and integrated devices that are easier for independent patients to use.
  • The latest technologies integrated into intuitive devices, to ensure treatment accuracy and reliability regardless of the patient’s profile (i.e., age and level of interest in new technologies).

Miniaturization, simplicity, new technologies, reliability, and precision of medical devices for diabetes treatment: the contributions of mechatronics are essential to the development of high-performance applications.


The challenges for mechatronics in an increasingly innovative market

Reliability, precision, connectivity, and miniaturization of medical devices for diabetes treatment: four challenges for mechatronics to foster independence and improve quality of life for diabetic patients.

1. Reliability and precision, key requirements for mechatronics

Certified to ISO 13485, maxon medical (an entity specializing in the development of medical devices within the maxon group) applies its mechatronics expertise to MDs for diabetes treatment, in strict compliance with regulatory requirements.

Beyond patient safety, the reliability and precision of the medical device are a key concern. Mechatronics plays a major role in this respect: designing reliable and precise drives offers the patient a higher level of effectiveness.

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2. Miniaturization for greater ease of use

Another challenge being addressed by mechatronics is miniaturization.

The development of miniature motors allows the marketing of devices that are ultra compact, which is a strong selling point in terms of ease of use for the patient. For this reason, the main maxon motors measure only 4 mm in diameter. With external pumps and implantable pumps, MDs for diabetes treatment are gaining in popularity and they foster independence, which is a necessity considering that 20% of diabetic patients need daily insulin injections.


3. Connectivity: the advances of mechatronics

As part of the development of new technologies to make patients’ lives easier, mechatronic systems integrated into MDs for diabetes treatment are embracing connectivity technologies. Real-time data collection by miniature biosensors, data processing, and automated remote control: smart, network-connected solutions are emerging.

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Mechatronics for monitoring and treating diabetes

To meet the need for daily insulin injections for nearly 85 million people with diabetes worldwide, mechatronics has three types of treatment solutions.

1. Implantable pumps

Implantable drug delivery devices considerably improve the quality of life of patients, and offer them optimal autonomy. Mechatronics, at the heart of the implanted device, addresses the demands of miniaturization, reliability, and biocompatibility imposed on active implants that are in direct contact with the patient’s tissues. To meet requirements for impermeability, both to bodily fluids and to the drugs, encapsulated solutions with IP66 or IP67 ratings can be developed.

maxon France has expertise in AIMD within its entity maxon medical, which is based in Switzerland and specializes in the design and development of implantable and biocompatible solutions. It provides fully customized, high-performance motorization using EC motors as small as 4 mm.

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2. External insulin pumps and patch pumps

Equipped with Bluetooth technology and a touchscreen, yet more compact and lighter than a mobile phone, these insulin pumps are the perfect answer to the challenges faced by patients with type 1 diabetes. A core element of this type of device: miniature motors designed by maxon motor as an ultra-precise drive module.

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3. The injector pen

Practical and efficient, insulin pens are widely used by diabetic patients. maxon France is well known for its expertise in these motorized and network-connected pens, which have been co-developed by maxon France. Robustness, connectivity, efficiency, and miniaturization: mechatronics meets all its challenges in the design of this drug delivery solution.

In order to find solutions satisfying the crucial criteria of reliability and precision, medical devices for diabetes treatment must meet complex integration requirements. Mechatronics thus continues its technological progress for the improvement of patients’ lives, in response to many current and future challenges.

Author: maxon France

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